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Mercy Health Muskegon to receive federal support of 17-person medical team COURTESY PHOTO

Mercy Health Muskegon to receive federal support of 17-person medical team

BY Wednesday, December 22, 2021 03:40pm

MUSKEGON — Mercy Health Muskegon will get federal support to care for a surge in patients hospitalized with COVID-19.

Beginning Dec. 30, a 17-person medical team of nurses, doctors and others will assist Mercy Health Muskegon for 30 days to help care providers who are treating COVID-19 and other patients, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

“We are very grateful for the additional support from the state and federal levels to provide essential support for our care staff as they are in the midst of this fourth surge in Michigan,” Gary Allore, president of Mercy Health Muskegon, said in a statement. “COVID-19 has put our frontline staff under the most extreme conditions, but their unwavering commitment to the safety and health of all members of our community holds true. We need everyone’s collective help to emerge out of this pandemic together.”

State officials said today that the federal government also approved a 30-day extension for U.S. Department of Defense medical teams who were dispatched to Spectrum Health’s Butterworth and Blodgett hospitals, Beaumont Hospital in Dearborn, and Covenant HealthCare in Saginaw.

The state sought the federal assistance as COVID-19 cases spiked across Michigan for weeks and as the Omicron variant has spread. The surge of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, combined with people now seeking treatment after previously delaying care for a medical condition, has stretched the ability of many hospitals to provide care.

As of Monday this week, 3,944 people in Michigan were hospitalized for COVID-19.

People who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated have accounted for more than 85 percent of the COVID-19 cases, 88.1 percent of hospitalizations involving COVID, and 88 percent of deaths, according to the state.

“The pandemic continues to take a tremendous toll on our health care workers and we are pleading with all Michiganders to do their part to support our state’s health care workers by getting vaccinated, wearing a mask in public indoor settings regardless of vaccination status, social distancing and staying home and getting tested regularly,” DHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel said in today’s announcement of the additional federal help.

Since the pandemic began in early 2020, Michigan has recorded more than 1.43 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and nearly 26,000 deaths, according to a state dashboard. Between Saturday and Monday, the state added 13,999 confirmed cases and another 160 deaths.

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